Putting a Face to Online & eLearning



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This will be my second year as an elearning teacher, but whether you're an elearning teacher or not, I've got some tools to share with you that can make online learning a little friendlier. Below, you'll find links to the resources that we'll be talking about during our Minds On Media session so don't worry about taking notes. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me on Twitter: @danikabarker, or by email: email@danikabarker.ca

Embedding HTML into D2L


Learning how to embed content (such as Youtube videos, and Prezis) can really jazz up your course content and make it more engaging. It's really easy to do but there is a bit of a trick to it.
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You have to click the little button at the bottom to open the HTML editor--BUT WAIT!--Just before you do that, type in three asterisks (***) as a place-holder wear you want the content to go, because once you get into the HTML editor, things get hairy.

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See? Crazy. But those three little asterisks show me where to paste in the HTML code. Where am I getting HTML code from? Well that depends on what you want to embed, so let's talk about some of the things I've used before:

Youtube

There are lots of great teaching resources on Youtube. One of the things I like to do is occasionally upload mini-lectures, or sessions where I reply to my students questions and then embed that video for them to watch (More about this later). It may sound time consuming but it saves a lot of time when you think of the number of individual emails it saves you. I also get to reuse them this year.
To embed a Youtube video into a lesson or into the news section of your homepage, you just need to get the embed code which you'll find when you click the share button under the video. MsB_Dishes_about_Hamlet_-_YouTube.jpg
When you click on the share button you get this:
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You don't want the Link; you want the embed code. Click that and you'll get this:
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You can copy and paste this code into your page. If you ever have trouble with the default code which uses iframe, you can try the old embed code which is longer and messier but usually does the trick.

Prezi

Prezi is a dynamic online presentation tool that my students often like to use instead of Power Point. I also like to use it to make content more engaging. One of the major benefits apart from the fact that it's engaging is that students don't need to upload or send you files. They can just post the link to their presentations.

Glogster

Glogster allows students to create multimedia collages.

Ustream

Ustream allows you to create a live "TV" channel from which you can broadcast. As with so many of these tools, Ustream gives you an embed code so you can embed your Ustream channel on the homepage of your D2L site, or your blog or webpage. When I'm online, I turn on Ustream and students can see me online working. It helps for them to know there's an actual teacher on the other side of the computer. Embedding a Ustream box on your main page in D2L is a little tricky, so this is one that I'll go over in person, but if you have any questions after, feel free to email or tweet me.

Ning

Ning allows you to set up your own social network site. It can be public or private. Ning used to be free, and technically isn't anymore; however, Pearson has stepped up an offered to sponsor free educator accounts. For information on how to apply, click here.
While D2L has places for students to get to know each other, it feels a little cold and sterile. Ning is a lot more comfortable, plus unlike D2L, it makes it easy for students to embed content. We primarily used Ning as a place for students to get to know each other and share, but we did also use it to post multimedia content.

Edmodo

If you're looking for a learning management system for a blended classroom, Edmodo is a great option!

Flickr

Flickr is a photo sharing site. If you use a photo from Flickr (with appropriate right) you are required to link back to the spot that the photo came from. This is done by Flickr providing the embed codes for your photo.
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